In Second World War Poland, a prisoner closes his eyes and pictures a sunlit cricket ground. Across the yard of a Victorian poorhouse, a man is too ashamed to acknowledge the son he gave away. In a 19th-century French village, an old servant understands the meaning of the Bible story her master is reading. In the Catskills, 1971, a girl steps out of a Chevy with a song that will send shivers through her listeners' skulls. A few years from now, in Italy, a scientist discovers links between time and the human brain, and her lover's novel and his life.
Throughout five masterpieces of fiction, exquisitely drawn and unforgettable characters risk their bodies, hearts and minds in pursuit of the manna of human connection.
"A tightly written, moving and exciting work of fiction that should thrill established readers as well as win new fans. If you think you know Faulks - or even (and especially) if you haven't enjoyed his previous novels - it's time to look again." (The Telegraph)
"This magnificent, complex, fine-grained book of stories is about love and loss in all its colors, in all its eras. I am best qualified to judge the final story Anya, which is one of the most authentic portrayals of a time and place - the early '70s in the folk-rock milieu, from a rural upstate New York, to Greenwich Village, to L.A. - I have ever read. We all have magical people in our pasts - glittery, fleeting, transformative: embarrassed secrets because our thrall to them was never quite reciprocated. This book liberates us from that embarrassment and reminds us that unrequited large-R-romance is a lot of what makes life worth living, and that such elegiac, flickering interludes can often be as emotionally permanent as those with the more steadfast people in our lives." (Sheila Weller, author of New York Times bestseller Girls Like Us)
"Sebastian Faulks's fine new novel does not, at first glance, look like a novel at all - more like a gathering of stories, each one yielding a new character. Only gradually do we realize how these many voices, so far apart in time and place, fuse together and overlap, like songs on an album, to form a stirring and delicate whole. One of them speaks of merging 'the flame and the facts', our ardent yearnings with the hard detail of ordinary life. In Faulks's masterful hands, fact and flame become one." (Anthony Lane, author of Nobody's Perfect)
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